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UK Deputy Chief of Defence Staff ends visit to Lebanon

The UK Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Harvey Smyth, completed a two-day visit to Lebanon on Tuesday 23 April.  This was his first visit to the country and his focus was to discuss UK efforts for de-escalation in the region.

Air Marshall Smyth met with Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri, General Joseph Aoun, Chief of Defence for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdallah Bou Habib. In his messages he reiterated UK’s support to the strengthening of LAF and for the people of Lebanon.  He emphasised UK’s ongoing commitment to support LAF as it delivers stability and security across Lebanon despite the country’s challenges.

In north Lebanon, he saw how the hard-working officers and soldiers of the 1st Land Border Regiment continue to professionally secure Lebanon’s sovereignty and to combat smuggling and terrorist activities along more than 100km of the border with Syria.

At the end of his visit, Air Marshall Harvey Smyth said:

I have seen first-hand the excellent partnership between the British and Lebanese Armed Forces on the Syrian border, and during my meetings I reiterated the UK’s position that Lebanon must not be dragged into a regional conflict.

The UK is working closely alongside our Lebanese partners to de-escalate tensions in the region and ongoing hostilities along the Blue Line, whilst calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza.

British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamish Cowell said:

Now, more than ever, it is important that we work together to avoid further escalation in South Lebanon and the region. The UK remains committed to supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces during these challenging times, and will work with international partners towards peace and long-term stability.

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